While one may be a gourmand to spend a month’s pay on a meal, it may not quite be the case for Vietnamese minister General To Lam, who received much criticism recently for his hearty and rather expensive meal at Salt Bae’s London restaurant, Nusr-e.
The public security personnel was massively trolled after a video showing him being hand-fed gold-plated steak by celebrity chef Nusret Gokce went viral on social media. The clip, which is now removed, first appeared on the latter’s TikTok account.
Lam’s choice of meal is expected to be priced anywhere around $1956, way above his monthly earnings which are in the range of $600 to $800. Understandably then, the Minister received flak for his lavish choices after screenshots and copies of the video continued to do the rounds online.
Is It Maxist way they used to talk about? Vietnamese salary is about US 150/mo. This guy, Mr. To Lam, Vietnamese politburo member, Minister of security, can spent US1,000-1,500 for this steak? Có phải lý thuyết Mac Xít đả kích tư bản không áp dụng cho cán bộ cao cấp CS ??
— Hoi Van Do (@Hoivando_MD) November 8, 2021
Social Media lashes out at the Minister:
Human rights activist Hoang Dung was one of the first people to post the pictures on his personal Facebook page. Raising the right pointers, he asked why a work dinner had to be held at such an expensive restaurant.
Similarly, a social media user said, “My tax money has been used for luxury,” while another added, “Vietnam is still poor, but the minister is so luxurious, the officer is enjoying so much extravagance.” Some of the other comments read – ‘Millions of people are suffering from Covid. No words.” and “gobbling steak at a climate conference is the height of revolting indifference.”
However, some also supported the Minister for his choice of food, stating that anyone is entitled to a spending allowance while on business trips and that he may have been invited to the restaurant by a third party who paid the bill. Lam had visited the restaurant after attending the United Nations COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
State of Affairs in Vietnam:
A socialist country governed by Vietnam Communist Party, Vietnam has picked economical pace over the last decade. An average citizen in the country earns around $230 (Rs 23,000) per month, according to the 2021 General Statistics Office report. W
However, while the country has developed at a very fast rate in the past three decades, the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdowns have affected its growth to a large extent. As per reports, its industrial output in August fell by 7.4% from a year earlier, exports dropped by 5.4%, and retail sales of goods and services fell by 33.7%.
In times like these, it may be justified for the Vietnamese junta to bash Lam after all! Thoughts?